Chess Room Newsletter #916 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #916

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #916


May 2, 2020

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents

Mechanics' Institute Defeats Club 64 in Modena, Italy in International Club Match

The Mechanics' Institute (MI) engaged in an international tournament, with MI playing in a 34-player-per-side club match against Club 64 in Modena, Italy. The match was played on with a time control of G/15 +5. Players had two games against the same opponent, once as white, once as black. The final score was Mechanics' 43, Club 64 at 25. 

MI had representation across many skill levels for the match, and the top boards were intriguing. Our top board by rapid rating was FM Balaji Daggupati, who faceed off against FM Francesco Seresin. While both games ended in a draw, the first game had some intrigue worthy of analysis. Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.

(6) FM Francesco Seresin (serefra99) (2432) - FM Balaji Daggupati (chess2thesun) (2524) [D20]
Live Chess, 25.04.2020

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 b5 4.a4 c6 5.Nc3 a6!? 6.axb5 cxb5 7.Nxb5 axb5 8.Rxa8 Bb7 An interesting exchange sacrifice, especially in fast time control. 9.Ra1 e6 Black doesn't capture immediately on e4 and waits for a better to take the pawn. [9...Bxe4] 10.Nf3 Nf6 11.Be2 [Saving the pawn with 11.e5 Ne4 12.Be2 Bb4+ is asking for trouble.] 11...Bb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Qxd2 Nxe4 14.Qa5!? White plays energetically instead of the normal looking 14. Qe3. 14...Qd5 15.Qc7 0-0 16.Ra7 Nd6 17.0-0?! Diagram


[17.Qb6 Would avoid the game continuation.] 17...Nc6! 18.Raa1 [18.Rxb7 Nxb7 19.Qxb7? Nxd4 20.Qxd5 Nxe2+ 21.Kh1 exd5 would be two pawns ahead] 18...Nxd4 19.Rfe1 N6f5 20.Bd1 Rc8 21.Qb6 Black has two pawns and fine central control for the exchange. 21...e5 22.Ra7 Bc6 23.Rc7 Re8 [23...Rxc7?? 24.Qb8+] 24.h3 h6 25.Qa6 e4 26.Nxd4 Nxd4 27.Rc8 Rxc8 28.Qxc8+ Kh7 29.Qg4 g6 30.Qf4 Kg7 31.f3 Qc5! 32.Kh1 exf3 33.gxf3 Bd5?! [33...g5 34.Qe5+ Qxe5 35.Rxe5 Kf6 is a very pleasant endgame] 34.Qe5+ Kh7 35.Kg2 Nf5 36.Qf4 b4?! [36...c3! 37.bxc3 Qxc3 38.Kf2 b4 is good winning chances] 37.Bc2! Nd4 Diagram


38.Qf6! this active defense allows White to save the game 38...Nxc2 39.Re8 Ne3+ 40.Kh2 Nf1+ 41.Kg2 Ne3+ 42.Kh2 Ng4+ Not satisfied with the draw Black gives a knight back to play on. White is alright though. 43.fxg4 Qc7+ 44.Qe5 Qxe5+ 45.Rxe5 Be6 46.Rb5 b3 47.Kg3 g5 48.h4 Kg6 49.Rc5 gxh4+ 50.Kxh4 Kf6 51.Kh5 Ke7 52.Re5 Kd6 53.Re3 Kd5 54.Rg3 Kd4 55.Kxh6 f5 56.gxf5 Bxf5 57.Kg5 Bd3 58.Kf4 c3 59.bxc3+ Kxc3 60.Ke3 b2 61.Rg1 b1Q 62.Rxb1 Bxb1 1/2-1/2

Our second board was none other than GM James Tarjan, who has been representing Mechanics' in several tournaments of late. He was paired against WGM Olga Zimina, who was also streaming her game. The first game was a fierce struggle, and was fun to follow.

(7) GM James Tarjan (Tirantes) (2473) - WGM Olga Zimina (Olghita64) (2311) [A11]
Live Chess, 25.04.2020

1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3 Bg4 4.Bg2 Nd7 5.0-0 e6 [5...dxc4 is more ambitious but gives up the center.] 6.b3 Ngf6 7.Bb2 Bd6 8.d3 0-0 9.Nbd2 Qe7 10.a3 a5 11.h3 Bh5 12.Qc2 h6 13.Rfe1 White has played a slow double fianchetto and Black has developed solidly. The game is level. 13...Bg6 14.e4 dxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 giving up the bishop for knight. More usual is [15...Nxe4 16.dxe4 Rfd8] 16.dxe4 e5 17.Nh4 g6 18.Nf3 Bc5 19.Re2 Rfd8 20.Qc3 Re8 21.Qc1 Kh7 22.Qc3 Nh5 23.Kh2 Ng7 24.h4 Ne6 25.Qc2 Rad8 26.Rd2 f6?! [26...Nf6! 27.Nxe5?! Nd4! would start tactics that favor Black] 27.h5! g5 28.Bh3 Now the light squared bishop finally becomes powerful. 28...Ng7 29.Bg4 Nf8 30.Kg2 b6 31.Rd3 Rxd3 32.Qxd3 Rd8 33.Qc2 Qd6 34.Ne1?! [34.Rd1! is indirectly guarded by the bishop on g4 and so would push Black back.] 34...Qd2?! [34...Nfe6! 35.Rd1 Nd4] 35.Rd1 Qxc2 36.Nxc2 Rxd1 37.Bxd1 The two bishops give White winning chances in this ending. 37...Nfe6 38.b4 axb4 39.axb4 Bd6 40.Bg4 Kg8 41.Bc3 Kf7 42.Kf3 Ke7 43.Ke2 Kd8 44.Ne3 Kc7? [44...Nd4+] 45.Kd3 [45.Bxe6! Nxe6 46.Ng4 wins a pawn and should win the game. Nonetheless Black is still under pressure.] 45...Bf8 46.Bd2 Nd8 47.Nf5 Nxf5 48.Bxf5 Bd6 49.Ke2 Nf7 50.Be6 Nd8 51.Bg8 Kd7 52.Kf3 Ke7 53.Kg4 Kf8 54.Bh7 Kg7 55.Bf5 Kf7 56.Bd7 Ne6? [56...c5] 57.Bxc6 Nd4 58.Bd5+ Ke7 59.f4 exf4 60.gxf4 Nb3 61.Be3 Bxb4 62.Bxb6 Bc5 63.Bxc5+ Nxc5 64.fxg5 fxg5 65.e5 Nd3 66.Kf5 Nf4 67.Bf3 Nd3 68.Bg4 Kf7 69.Be2 Nf4 70.Bf3 Nd3 71.Ke4 Nf2+ 72.Ke3 Nh3 73.c5 Nf4 74.Bg4 Ke7 75.c6 Kd8 76.Kd4 Kc7 Diagram


77.Bf3 [77.e6! would win as one of the pawns go through unless Black gives up the knight. Yet after 77...Nxe6+ 78.Bxe6 Kxc6 79.Ke5 White wins despite the wrong color rook pawn as the black king gets boxed out.] 77...Ne6+ 78.Kc4 Nf4 79.Kb5 Ne6 80.Kc4 Nf4 81.Kd4 Ne6+ 82.Ke4 Kxc6 83.Kf5+ Kd7 84.Kg6 Nf4+ 85.Kxh6 Ke6 86.Kxg5 Nxh5 87.Bxh5 Kxe5 1/2-1/2

It was a fun collaboration with Club 64, and we are already planning a rematch in May. We want to thank Adriano, Damiano, Francesco, Mattia and Riccardo from Club 64 for their hard work in organizing their club members to participate.

To watch the broadcast of this event, please follow this link:

Full results can be found here:

Hampton Roads Chess Club (Virginia) Beats Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Players 23.5-10.5

Our scholastic players tried their hand at club match play, as we scheduled a 17-player-per-side friendly match against the 2017 USCF Chess Club of the Year, Hampton Roads Chess Club. What is special about their club is that the scholastic players are all home-grown, and train and learn within the club. They had strong players representing their club, and it showed in the outcome of the match. It was a great experience for both sides, and an opportunity for scholastic chess communities to come together to socialize and compete. We are already planning a future rematch, with Mechanics' reaching out to our scholastic players. We want to thank Tina Schweiss from Hampton Roads for her dedication to her club and the kids. We look forward to doing it again soon. In the meantime, here is a game from the match, annotation by GM Nick de Firmian.

(10) imcharlene (1446) - exceptionalfork (1622) [B31]
Live Chess, 25.04.2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e5?! This pawn is too eager to give itself up. It does double Black's pawns but that is not enough. 6...dxe5 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Qe1 Qc7 9.Nbd2 Rb8 [9...Nh6 10.Nc4 f6 holds the center and kingside squares. The black knight can jump to good squares in the center.] 10.Nc4 f6 11.b3 Ba6 12.Ba3 Bxc4 13.dxc4 f5? This creates weakenesses and the Black position begins to crumble. [13...Nh6! 14.Bxc5 0-0 is fine for Black.] 14.Bb2 Qb6?! [14...Rd8] 15.Nxe5 Nf6 16.Nd3! One must admire the fine strategic play of imcharlene. White plays for control of the squares. 16...Rb7 17.Qe6 Diagram


17...Nd7? This loses a bishop and the exchange afterward. It was hard to play the black side but he could hold on for a while with [17...Rf8 18.Rad1 Rc7 19.Rfe1 Nh5 20.Bxg7 Nxg7 21.Qe5 Kf7 22.Nxc5] 18.Bxg7 Rf8 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 20.Rfe1 Nf6 21.Ne5 Kg7 22.Qf7+ Kh6 23.Qf8+ Kg5 24.Nf7+! Kh5 25.Qh6+ Kg4 26.h3# 1-0

To watch a replay of the live broadcast, click here:

Full results can be found here:

2020 Schutt/Brandwein/Jay Whitehead Memorial Blitz Online

Join us online as we get ready for the 14th Annual Ray Schutt/Steve Brandwein/Jay Whitehead Memorial Blitz Championship Online. This free tournament will be held on 

REGISTRATION: no pre-registration necessary. Join the tournament online up to 1 hour prior to start time.

Format:  One open section, 12 rounds,  G/3+2 

Start time: 11AM

Join the tournament from 10 AM online.

Fee: FREE - all players must be a part of Mechanics' Institute Online Chess Club on To join, please follow this link:

No prizes, just the honor and glory of participating in this great blitz event in remembrance of three great individuals from our Mechanics' community and coming together through chess.

Kerry Lawless on the 1991 Pan-Pacific GM Tournament in San Francisco

Kerry Lawless was kind enough to send this to us, and with his permission, we will pass it along to our readers. We encourage our readers to visit the Chess Dryad for a rich collection of California chess history:

One of the strongest tournaments ever held in San Francisco was the 1991 Pan-Pacific GM Chess Tournament, played at the Kearny Street Holiday Inn. Eugenio Torre (2535) won the tournament; follow by Patrick Wolff (2520) in 2nd place. Mikhail Tal (2565), who was in a 4-way tie for 3rd place, missed the first two rounds of the tournament.  So, he played in a make-up game, from the 2nd round at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club on March 13th! (MI Trustee, Neil Falconer - on right - watches as GM Wolff plays GM Tal 1-0.)

Kerry Lawless

MI Life Member

Former World Champion Mikhail Tal takes on GM Patrick Wolff

Neil Falconer looks on 

GM Patrick Wolff scores a victory over Tal

Here is the game, Annotation by GM Nick de Firmian

(11) Patrick Wolff - Mikhail Tal [C78]
Pan-Pacific GM Tournament San Francisco, CA USA (2), 03.1991

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7 7.c3 Nxe4 8.d4 Na5 [perhaps 8...Be7 would be a better try than the knight move] 9.Nxe5 Nxb3 10.Qxb3 Qf6 11.f3 With this White gains an opening edge. The long diagonal is blocked and the black king is still in the center. 11...Nc5 12.Ng4 Nxb3 13.Nxf6+ gxf6 14.Re1+ Be7 15.axb3 d6 After the tactics of the opening we reach an equal endgame. The doubled black pawns are compensated by the bishop pair. 16.Bf4 Kd7 17.Nd2 a5 18.Nf1 Bd5?! [18...a4 would maintain the balance] 19.c4! Now Black must go backward and has little compensation for the weak kingside pawns. 19...Bc6 [19...bxc4 20.Ne3 Bc6 21.bxc4 is very nice for White, with also control of the f5 square] 20.Ne3 a4 21.d5 Bb7 22.Ra3?! [22.Nf5 Rhe8 23.Ra3 would keep the advantage] 22...Rhb8 23.cxb5 axb3 24.Rxb3 Ra4 25.g3 Ba6 26.Nf5 Bd8 27.Re4 Ra1+ 28.Kf2 Rxb5 29.Rxb5 Bxb5 The game is equal again. Black's light squared bishop is a good piece even if the dark squared one is doing little now. 30.Rb4 Bd3 31.Nd4 Ra5 32.Ke3 Bb1 33.Nb5 f5 34.Nc3 Ba2 35.b3 Bf6?! [35...Ra3 36.Nxa2 Rxa2 is no problems] 36.Kd3 Bxc3? [simply waiting with 36...Kc8 makes it hard for White to progress. The exchange of the bishop for knight leaves the bishop on a2 in trouble] 37.Kxc3 Bb1 Diagram


[37...Rxd5 38.Kb2 traps the bishop] 38.Rd4! The black bishop can't get out! 38...Ra2 39.Rd1 Rc2+ 40.Kb4 Rb2 41.Rc1 Ba2 [41...Bd3 42.Kc3] 42.Ka3 Rxh2 43.Ra1 Bxb3 44.Kxb3 Black gets two pawns for the bishop, but it's hopeless due to the shattered black kingside pawns. 44...Rf2 45.Rh1 Rxf3+ 46.Kc4 Ke7 47.Rxh7 Kf6 48.Rh8 Rf2 49.Rc8 Rc2+ 50.Kd3 Rc5 51.Kd4 Ke7 52.Bg5+ f6 53.Bf4 Rc2 54.Rh8 Kf7 55.Rh1 Black resigned. Rc1 is coming to exchange the rooks and then it's hopeless. 1-0


Mechanics' Institute Tuesday Night Online

This week's Tuesday Night Online brought together 59 players in pursuit of the gold medal. NM Ruiyang Yan was looking to repeat as champion, but the competition this week would be fierce, as FM Kyron Griffith, FM Eric Li, FM Jason Liang, and FM Anish Vivekananthan were all part of this strong field. However, Rui tore through the field with some impressive play and was the beneficiary of some upsets and a draw in the final round between Eric Li and Abhinav Penagalapati to become a back-to-back champion of the TNO with a perfect 5/5. Eric Li took the silver and Abhinav Penagalapati took the bronze, both with 4.5. 

This tournament had action, dramatic moments, and players who succumbed to time pressure. This is part of the theater of online rapid and blitz events, in which players feel the pressure of a dwindling clock while spectators see the emotions come to life over the online board. Such was the case in a few key games, where players were on the verge of monumental upsets, only to be done in by time pressure, and the other player's ability to come up with the right moves at the right time. Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.

Here is one game in round 3 between Felix German and FM Kyron Griffith, in which German had what looked like an insurmountable attack. Griffith's experience and perseverance kept him above water, and at the right time, he struck back quickly. You can see the dramatic finale from the broadcast by clicking here at the 1:16:30 mark:

(4) FelixGerman (1715) - KyronGriffith (2048) [A41]
Live Chess, 28.04.2020

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nf6 5.Be2 0-0 6.h4!? h5 7.Bg5 c5 8.d5 Nbd7 9.Nf3 a6 10.a4 Qa5 11.0-0 Rb8 12.Nd2 Re8 13.f4 Felix is in an aggressive mood! He just charges forward. 13...Nh7 14.e5 dxe5 15.f5 Nxg5?! Safer is [15...gxf5!] 16.hxg5 e4 17.fxg6 fxg6 Diagram


18.Bxh5! Ne5?! [18...gxh5 19.Qxh5 Rf8 20.Ndxe4 Qd8 21.g6 is a very powerful attack; 18...Bd4+ 19.Kh1 Ne5 20.Bxg6? (20.Nb3 keeps the advantage) 20...Bg4!] 19.Bxg6! Nxg6 [19...Bg4 20.Bf7+ now wins for White as the black king does not have the g7 square to hide on.] 20.Qh5 Qb6 21.a5 Bd4+ 22.Kh1 Qd6 23.Ndxe4 Now White is clearly winning. However Kyron refuses to go down without a fight. 23...Bg4! the only move in a terrible situation 24.Qxg4 Qe5 Diagram


25.Qe6+? giving up the attack. White wins with [25.Nf6+! exf6 26.gxf6 Kf7 27.Qd7+ Ne7 28.fxe7+ Kg8 29.Qg4+ Qg7 30.Qe6+] 25...Qxe6 26.dxe6 Ne5 27.Nd5 Kg7 28.g3 Ng4? [28...Kg6] 29.Kg2?! [29.Rf7+ Kh8 (29...Kg6 30.Nf4#) 30.Kg2 and White has his winning attack again.] 29...Kg6 30.Rf7 Be5?! [30...Ne3+] 31.Nxe7+ [31.Rh1! would do it] 31...Rxe7 32.Rxe7 Rh8 33.Kf3 Nh2+ 34.Ke3 Ng4+ 35.Kd3 Rh2 36.Rxb7 Bd4 37.Nc3 Nf2+ 38.Ke2 Ne4+ 39.Kf3 Nxg5+ 40.Kg4 Nh7 Now 41. Ne4 among other moves would easily win. 41.e7?? Nf6+ Oh no! There is no way out. 42.Kf4 Rf2# 0-1

In another game, Alejandro Canales had FM Jason Liang on the ropes and looked like he was in a position to close the show in a fantastic upset. But time became a factor, and under time pressure, his precision was not there when he needed it the most, giving Liang the opening he needed.

(2) Alejandro Canales (Lilpix2) (1713) - FM Jason Liang (Marty435) (2172) [B18]
Live Chess, 28.04.2020

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 The old, classic variation of the Caro-Kann. Black is very solid, so White tries a somewhat unusual line. 7.N1e2 Nd7 8.Nf4 Bh7 9.Bc4 Ngf6 10.Qe2 e6 Diagram


11.Bxe6!? Lilpix2 thinks he is Tal! Yet even Tal had trouble against Botvinnik's Caro-Kann. 11...fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qa5+! 13.Bd2 Bb4 14.c3 [14.Nc7+ Kd8 15.Nxa8? Re8 wins the queen.] 14...Be7?! [14...Bd6! 15.b4 Qa3 looks risky but is actually an edge for Black.] 15.Nxg7+ Kd8 [15...Kf7! 16.Qe6+ Kxg7 17.Qxe7+ Kg8 18.c4 Qd8] 16.0-0 Rg8 17.Bxh6 Qd5 18.Rfe1 Qf7 19.Ne6+ Kc8 White has emerged well from the complications, with 4 pawns and enough squares so that Black has trouble counter attacking with the extra piece. 20.Ng5 Qg6 21.Qxe7 Qxh6 22.Nf5?? Sad, White has played an inspired game and now just forgets this square is covered. Instead [22.Nxh7 Qxh7 23.Qxh7 Nxh7 24.Nf5 Kc7 25.Re7 Nhf6 26.Rae1 would have left White with the winning chances in the endgame.] 22...Bxf5 23.Nf7 Qg6 24.g3?! Nd5 White resigns as he loses another piece. 0-1

The story of the tournament was the repeat perfect performance by NM Ruiyang Yang, who plays phenomenal chess under time pressure to best her opponents. This was evident in the final round, where she methodically built an attack on her opponent Alex Chin to win her game, and as a result of a draw in the other match of perfect scores, propelled her to capture sole first, and another gold medal.

(3) Alex Chin (achingolf) (1840) - NM Ruiyang Yan (jij2018) (2206) [B90]
Live Chess, 28.04.2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 This is probably the safest way to play against the 6. Be3 Najdorf with the f3 English type attack. Black's 8th move holds back the advance of White's kingside pawns for a minor positional concession. 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Be2 Qc7 12.Kb1 b5 13.a3 Nb6 14.Na5 Nc4?! This rushes the exchange while Black is undeveloped. The simple [14...Be7 was logical and would give even chances.] 15.Nxc4 bxc4 16.Bg5 Nd7 17.Ka1 Qb7 18.f4 Rb8 19.Rb1 f6 20.f5! Bf7 21.Be3 Rc8 22.h3 Nc5 23.Bxc5 [23.Bf3 would be a simple clear edge.] 23...Rxc5 24.g4 Be7 25.Rhd1 [25.gxh5! is good because if Black recaptures the h-pawn the bishops will be exchanged and there will be serious light-square weaknesses.] 25...Kd7 26.Bf3 Qc6 27.Nd5?! giving up the advantage. Still good was [27.gxh5!] 27...Bxd5 28.exd5 Qb7?! [28...Qa4! threatens 29...c3 so there is no time for White to capture on h5.] 29.gxh5 c3 30.bxc3! Qc7 31.Rb3 Rc8 32.Rdb1?! better to guard the pawn with [32.Kb2] 32...Ke8?! [32...Rxc3] 33.h6! gxh6 34.Qxh6 Rxc3 35.Bh5+ Kd8 Diagram


36.Qh8+? [36.Bf7! Rxb3 37.Qh8+ Kd7 38.Be6#] 36...Kd7 37.Bf7?? Tragic. White finds the right idea at the wrong time. The white queen had to retreat and chances were even. 37...Rxh8 Chess is cruel. White went from completely winning to dead lost in two moves. 38.Be6+ Ke8 39.Rb8+ Bd8 40.R1b7 Rxa3+ 41.Kb2 Qc3+ 42.Kb1 Ra1# 0-1

To watch the full broadcast with commentary by FM Paul Whitehead, FM Jim Eade, Abel Talamantez and Dr. Judit Sztaray, please follow this link:

For full results of this event, please follow this link:


Mechanics’ Online Event Recap

On Saturday night, we had 25 players for the Late Night (9pm) Blitz Showdown, and it was won by NM Vyom Vidyarthi (2007checkmate), who won on tie-breakers over Abhishek Mallela (mephistotelian) both with 4/5. Third place went to FM Kyron Griffith, who got third place on tiebreaks over 2 others.

Here is Vyom's win over Kyron, annotation by GM Nick de Firmian.

(5) NM Vyom Vidyarthi (2007checkmate) (2227) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2411) [A41]
Live Chess, 25.04.2020

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e4 0-0 Kyron's usual King's Indian Defense. 6.h3 c6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Be3 Na6?! 9.Be2 Nc7 10.Qd2 White has a classic centralized position and holds the opening advantage. 10...Kh7 11.g4?! [Aggressive, but 11.0-0 is simple and strong] 11...d5 12.e5 Ne4 13.Qc2 Nxc3 14.bxc3 dxc4 15.Bxc4 Nd5 now Black has squares and piece play to compensate for the spatial disadvantage. 16.Bd3 Be6 17.Nh4!? Qe8?! Black gets boxed in somewhat after this [safer is 17...Kg8] 18.Bd2 a5?! [18...c5 trying to open the queenside gives counter play.] 19.f4! Kg8 20.f5 g5 21.Nf3 Bd7 22.h4 f6 White has a dominating position with the advanced kingside and center pawns. 23.hxg5 fxg5 24.0-0-0 c5 [24...Qd8 25.Bxg5! hxg5 26.Nxg5 e6 27.f6] 25.Bc4! e6 26.f6 Bxf6 Diagram


[26...Nxf6 27.exf6 Ba4 28.fxg7! Bxc2 29.gxf8Q+ Qxf8 30.Kxc2 Qxf3 31.Rxh6 would also not survive.] 27.Rxh6! Qe7 28.exf6 Rxf6 29.Rxf6 Qxf6 30.Ne5 Be8 31.Rh1 Qg7 32.Bd3 cxd4 33.Bh7+ Kf8 34.cxd4 White has the extra piece and the attack. This is too much even for Kyron. 34...Qc7 35.Qxc7 Nxc7 36.Bxg5 Nd5 37.Rf1+ Kg7 38.Be4 Rc8+ 39.Kd2 Rc7 40.Bxd5 exd5 41.Bf6+ Kg8 42.Rh1 Rh7 43.Rxh7 Kxh7 44.Bd8 a4 45.Kc3 Kg7 46.Kb4 Kf8 47.Kc5 a3 48.Kxd5 Ba4 49.Bb6 Bb3+ 50.Ke4 Bxa2 51.Bc5+ Kg7 52.Bxa3 b5 53.d5 Kf6 54.d6 Bb1+ 55.Kd4 Bf5 56.gxf5 1-0

Full results can be found here:

The Sunday Late Night Showdown had 37 players, with NM Michael "fpawn" Aigner taking clear first with 4.5/5. In second was Abhinav Penagalapati (qing29) and in third Rudolph Breedt (Bobbejaan) both with 4/5. Full results found here:

The Monday Night Arena had 44 players in this wild free-for-all, with games continuously played for over 90 minutes. The winner of this evening's edition was Nicholas Boldi (nicarmt) with 35 points, followed by Abhinav Penagalapati (qing 29) with 31 and in third was Game-6_Klay and Ako Heidari (oka_ako) with 27. Full results can be found here:

The Wednesday Late Night Showdown featured 36 players, and it was NM Vyom Vidyarthi and FM Kyron Griffith tying for first with 4.5/5 and Omya Vidyarthi taking third on tiebreaks with 4/5. Full results found here:

The Mechanics' first Fischer Random Thursday night event took place, and 20 players participated in the chaos that is Fischer Random. In this tournament, the pawns for both players are positioned the same as in normal chess, but the back pieces are positioned randomly by the computer, with both players having the same random setup. This leads to a disruption of normal conventions out of the opening, and leads to fun tactical chess. 

FM Kyron Griffith won this inaugural event with 5/5. In second was FM Jason Liang (Marty 435) with 4/5 and in third was yours truly, Abel Talamantez (MechanicsChess) with 3/5, winning on tiebreakers over 4 other players. 

To view a sample, click this link:

It is FM Kyron Griffith's win over Mannansh Nayyar in round 2.

For full results, follow this link:

The Friday Night Online 10-round Blitz medal tournament was particulalry strong, with 55 players participating. The gold medalist this week was NM Vyom Vidyarthi, who took the top spot over Abhinav Penagalapati on tiebreaks, both with 8.5/10. CM Ethan Boldi took the bronze with 7.5/10, and IM Ladia Jirasek and Sam Schenk rounding out the top 5 with 7/10. Full results can be found here:


Online Class with FM Paul Whitehead

Wednesdays 6:30PM - 8:00PM

This class is designed to help players who are 1000+ learn how to think and what to look for in games after the opening all the way through the endgame. Modeled after his own style of coaching, Paul uses games of students and current and historical games to discuss what players should be thinking about in order to get their chess to the next level. This class is dynamic, and encourages student participation and discussion. The goal is for students to understand the thinking so they can apply what is learned in their own games.

Students will need a Zoom account, and Paul will use an interactive board to conduct the class online. This will be a live class, not per-recorded. While this class is aimed at the active tournament player looking to rise in rating, it is suitable for everyone that wants to improve their chess by learning how a master thinks and sees games. Paul is a former U.S. Junior Champion and commentator on our Mechanics' broadcasts.

$25/class for a 90-minute class. MI needs a minimum of four students to host the class, and has a maximum of 12 students.

Register online:

 Mechanics Chess Social #3
with WGM Sabina Foisor

We had the honor and pleasure of having WGM Sabina Foisor as our guest for the third Mechanics' Chess Social. The 2017 U.S. Women's champion discussed her experience in winning the championship, coping with the passing of her mother, and her many philanthropic activities in support of promoting chess to women and children. To watch the interview, please follow this link:

Follow Sabina here:


Mechanics' Chess - Scholastic Offerings

Tournaments - Club Matches - Classes


Upcoming Tournament Schedule

New to tournamnts? Need a quick guide how to navigate on chesskid and through the tournaments?
Join Judit for a webinar on Tuesday, May 5th at 3:30PM right before the 4:15PM tournament:
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Saturday, May 2 - 4PM - join from 3:45PM
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Sunday, May 3 - 4PM - join from 3:45PM

Tuesday, May 5 - 4:15PM - join from 4PM
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Thursday, May 7 - 4PM - join from 3:45PM

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Sunday, May 10 - 4PM - join from 3:45PM

If you have any problems connecting with us on, please send us an email and we'll send you step-by-step instructions with pictures.   

Any questions? [email protected]


Scholastic Games Of The Week (games from our scholastic online tournaments)

Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian

(1) adichi (1320) - FCM008 (1074) [D00]
Live Chess, 20.04.2020

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nc6 3.e3 Nf6 4.c3 Bf5! The light-squared bishop is often a problem child on the black side of the London System. Here black finds a nice spot for it. 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 e6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Nbd2 0-0 Both sides have their pieces out and the game is equal. 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7 11.0-0-0!? I should really give this an ! as it is so aggressive and unexpected in this opening. Objectively it's not better than castling kingside, but it is certainly more entertaining. 11...f6 12.Nf3?! fxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Rxf2 15.g3 Black has scored a pawn for dubios compensation. Now 15...Bd6 or 15...Bf6 would start to trade pieces. 15...Rf8 16.Rdf1 Re8?! giving up the file. 16...Qd7! is better. 17.h4 b6 18.h5 c5? [18...Rf8! bringing pieces over to defend the king was desperately needed.] 19.h6! c4 20.Qc2 g6 Diagram


21.Qxg6+! Black resigned as 21...hxg6 22. h7 is checkmate! 1-0

(8) jimmykids (1260) - DarkCapableCharm (1366)
Live Chess

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Ng5?! This is often played by young players when they first have this position. 5...0-0 That's the problem. Black defends the f7 square with a very useful developing move. 6.Nf3 [6.Nxf7 Rxf7 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 is very nice for Black. So White is justified in retreating the knight to f3 even though that admits to losing two tempi.] 6...d6 7.0-0 Bg4 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6?! This lets Black increase the lead of development. Better was to retreat with [9.Be3] 9...Qxf6 10.h3 Bd7 [10...Bxf3! 11.Qxf3 Qxf3 12.gxf3 Nd4 wins a pawn with a nice position.] 11.Nc3 Qg6 12.g3? This move really gets into trouble. [White could escape the worst of it with the clever counter attack on the black queen - 12.Nh4!] 12...Bxh3 13.Re1? Diagram


13...Bg4 This is still winning for Black, but mate in 2 was to be had with [13...Qxg3+! 14.Kh1 Qg2#] 14.Nd5 Qh5! 15.Kg2 Nd4 16.Ne7+ Kh8 0-1

(9) isabellag48 (966) - Nightimeninja (908)
Live Chess

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Bb4 5.d3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 0-0 Thus far both sides have developed logically. 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5?! this is a challenging move, but Black must be careful with the weakening of the kingside. Safer was the simple developing move 8...d6. 9.Bxg5?! [9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 would give White the very annoying pin on the f6 knight.] 9...hxg5 10.Nxg5 Diagram


10...Nd5? [Black is objectively doing fine but needs to defend precisely. He must not move now the key defender - the knight on f6. One good plan is to chase the bishop down with 10...Na5; Also good is to take more of the kingside squares with 10...Kg7] 11.Qh5 Nf4 [11...Nf6 12.Qg6+! Kh8 13.Bxf7 d6 14.Qh6+ Nh7 15.Qxh7#] 12.Qh7# 1-0

Online Chess Classes for Kids

Mechanics’ Institute is proud to offer online chess classes!

During our interactive online classes coaches are sharing their computer screen and use a chess program to demonstrate positions, puzzles and go over games. Occasionally short and fun videos will be used to introduce new topics and paused intermittently to reassure understanding of the material. All kids will join - a safe and secure platform for kids - to play games against each other and will have the ability to participate in scholastic online tournaments organized by the Mechanics' Institute through Classes are coached by a live lead coach and monitored by additional staff, so students are never alone in a meeting. Classes are also recorded so if any child misses a class, the recording can be shared. Classes are safe, interactive, and convenient alternative way without sacrificing quality in chess instruction.

To see available classes and register:

Day Time Coach Link
Monday 4-5PM Coach Colin
Tuesday 2-3PM Coach Andy
Tuesday 3:15-4:15PM Coach Andy
Wednesday 3-4PM Coach Colin
Friday 1-2PM Coach Andy
Friday 2:15-3:15PM Coach Andy

Class Fee: $25 for single class, $45 for two classes (10% off), $80 for 4 classes (20% off)

Note: MI needs a minimum of four (4) students to book the class, with a maximum of eight (8) students in each class.

Information with link to join the class will be sent via email after your registration.
Classes are online: student must have laptop, with mic and webcam, and good internet connection in order to participate in classes!

Refund policy: Full refund minus a $5 administration fee if cancelled more than 24 hours before the start of class. No refunds within 24 hours of the start of class.

If you have any questions, or need a sample of a class, please feel free to reach out to [email protected].

Mechanics' Institute Online Events Schedule

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club will continue to hold regular online events in various forms. Here is the upcoming schedule for players:

5/2 Saturday - Saturday Late Night Showdown
Format: 5 rounds of G/5+2
Join from 8PM  -
Start: 9PM
5/3 Sunday - 2020 Schutt/Brandwein/Jay Whitehead Memorial Blitz
Format: 12 rounds of G/3+2
Join from 10am  -
Start: 11am
5/3 Sunday - Sunday Afternoon Matinee
Format: 3 rounds of G/30+0
Join from 1PM
Start: 2PM
5/4 Monday - Monday Online Arena
Format: 90 mins of G/5+2 - as many games as you can.
Join from 5:30PM -
Start: 6:30PM
5/5 Tuesday - Tuesday Night Online Rapid
Format: 5 rounds of G/10+2 (Swiss)
Join from 5:30PM -
Start: 6:30PM
5/6 Wednesday - Late Night Showdown
Format: 5SS G/5+2
Join the tournament: 8PM:
Starts 9PM.
5/7 Thursday -  Mechanics' Fischer Random tournament
Format: G/5 +2
Join from 5:30
Start: 6:30
5/8 Friday - Friday Evening Online Blitz
Format: 10 rounds of G/3+2 (Swiss)
Join from 5:30PM -
Start: 6:30PM sharp.

Past Club Tournament results are here:
Before playing in our online tournaments, be sure to do the following:
1. Sign up and log in to
2. Sign up to be a member of Mechanics' Institute Chess Club at You need to become a member before you can play.
3. Please fill out the Google Form, so we know who you are, and can inform you about changes, and ad hoc events:
Any questions? [email protected]


FM Paul Whitehead's Column

FM Paul Whitehead

Early Chess Stories, Part 5

- A rambling account of my adolescent and pre-adolescent chess experiences –

Continuing from here:

Sometime in the Summer of 1976 a remarkable fellow named Peter Andrews opened up a “Chess Salon” just a few doors up from the Meat Market Coffeehouse on 24th Street.  Coming out of nowhere, Fiddler’s Green was a unique addition to the already thriving San Francisco Bay Area chess scene.  One of the “Founding Fathers” of Cal-Chess, Andrew’s goals were ambitious.  This newly minted “Czar of San Francisco Chess” ran tournaments, organized classes and simuls, all the while selling books and coffee from “noon to midnight” out of the coziest place to push wood on the West Coast.  There was a fireplace!

I remember Peter Andrews with much fondness.  A classic intellectual bon-vivant with a twinkly smile, he always had a glass of white wine and a cigarette in one hand.  On his other arm would be a beautiful woman (or two).

During the short time of its existence – less than a year - Fiddler’s Green ended up playing an outsize role in my life.  My first job was there, as Peter hired me as the “chess-pro”. I learned how to keep the coffee-pot going while selling an occasional book or giving lessons.  Offering regular blitz tournaments and nice prizes (as well as a Women’s Invitational!), Fiddler’s Green attracted the top players in the Bay Area, giving me fabulous opportunity to improve.  Ex-Soviet Grandmasters Anatoly Lein and Leonid Shamkovitch played there on their 1st West Coast Tour. Walter Browne and Roy Ervin, Elliott Winslow and Michael Walder, John Grefe and Jeremy Silman, Jay Whitehead and Steve Brandwein – all of these players, and many more besides, passed through its doors. One of the more outstanding events held there was a San Francisco vs Berkeley match, won by San Francisco, 38 – 26.

My day would begin waking up in the empty house on Carl Street in the Haight (my brother at school, my parents at work). After walking the family dog, I’d then take a much longer walk up over Ashbury Heights and Upper Market Street, dipping down eventually into Noe Valley.  I had friends there, many of whom I had met at the Meat Market Coffeehouse, and there was a lot of cross-pollination between there and Fiddler’s Green. The same characters showed up in both places (and the Mechanics’ Institute). There was nowhere else I’d rather have been at the time.  I had ditched school altogether, I had just turned 16, I was working and hanging out with my friends playing chess– I felt free.

The things I remember now, with a rueful laugh:

- At Fiddler’s Green a pretty woman pointed out that the “tan” on my arm was actually… dirt.

- At Fiddler’s Green I had a terrible knock-down fight with my brother Jay – a bookshelf was toppled over, chairs thrown – yes that’s right, over a chess game.

Finally, this is a bit of chess history, yes.  But this is also my story, and a story of Love in one of its many forms - and very much of its time.

I suppose my commitment to full-time employment had waned, and after a time I no longer worked at Fiddler’s Green, though still making it a regular and important destination.

Peter had hired in my place a lovely woman, 29 years old, who knew the ropes of running a business – even if she wasn’t the chess player I was. 

I will make this short but for me, very sweet.  

One evening she asked me to stay after she’d shut up the shop. 

We conversed, but only at first… 

An unlikely romance blossomed, which brought strange looks and lasted quite a while.

This was all long ago, at a place called Fiddler’s Green.

(Included here are some games played at Fiddler’s Green Chess Salon)


Jay WhiteheadJames Tarjan

Fiddler’s Green Tuesday Speed 9/14/1976

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. c3 Nf6

5. e5 Ne4 6. cxd4 d5 7. Nbd2 Bg4 8. Bb5 Be7

9. Qc2 O-O 10. Bxc6 Nxd2 11. Bxb7 Bxf3 12. Bxa8 Bxg2

13. Bxd2 Bxh1 14. Bc6 Bf3 15. Qd3 Bh5 16. Qb5 Bg5

17. Bb4 Be7 18. Ba5 Bf3 19. Rc1 f6 20. Bxc7 Qc8

21. Bxd5+ Bxd5 22. Qxd5+ Kh8 23. e6 Bd8 24. Qd7 Qxd7

25. exd7 Be7 26. Bd6 Bxd6 27. Rc8 Bb4+ 28. Kf1. 1-0.


Peter CleghornPaul Whitehead

Berkeley vs. San Francisco Match.

Fiddler’s Green 10/6/1976

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4

5. Qxd4 e6 6. Bc4 Nc6 7. Qe4 d6 8. Nf3 dxe5

9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Qxe5 Qd6 11. Bb5+ Bd7 12. Bxd7+ Qxd7

13. O-O Bd6 14. Qxg7 O-O-O 15. Qd4 Rhg8 16. Qxa7 Qc6

17. g3 Bc5 18. Qa5 Rg4 19. Na3 Rdg8 20. Nb5 Rxg3+

21. hxg3 Rxg3+ 22. Kh2 Rg2+ 23. Kh3 Rg6 24. f3 e5

25. c4 Rh6+ 26. Bxh6 Qxh6+ 27. Kg4 Qg6+ 28. Kh4 Be7+

29. Kh3 Nf4+ 30. Kh2 Qg2#


Jeremy SilmanPeter Cleghorn

Berkeley vs. San Francisco Match.

Fiddler’s Green 10/6/1976

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6

5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6

9. Qe2 Be7 10. Rd1 Na5 11. Nd4 O-O 12. f3 Nc5

13. f4 Ncxb3 14. axb3 c5 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Qg4 Rf5

17. Nc3 h5 18. Qh3 g6 19. Ne4 Qb6 20. Ng3 c4+

21. Kh1 Rf7 22. Rxa5 Qxa5 23. Qxe6 cxb3 24. Qxg6+ Rg7

25. Qe6+ Kh8 26. Nf5 bxc2 27. Rf1 Bf8 28. Nxg7 Bxg7

29. f5 d4 30. f6 Bf8 31. Qf7. 1-0.


Pamela FordRuth Herstein

Fiddler’s Green Women’s Invitational

San Francisco, 8/29/1976

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6

5. c4 dxc4 6. Bxc4 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 Bg4

9. Qb3 Nc6 10. Nbd2 Na5 11. Qc3 Nxc4 12. Nxc4 Ne4

13. Bxd8 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Raxd8 15. Nfe5 Be6 16. Rfb1 Bd5

17. f3 b6 18. a4 Be7 19. Ne3 Ba8 20. a5 f6

21. Nf5 Rfe8 22. axb6 axb6 23. Nd3 Bf8 24. Ra7 Rd7

25. Rxb6 Rxd4 26. Nxd4 cxb6 27. Ne6 Bd5 28. Nxf8 Kxf8

29. Rc7 b5 30. Nf4 Bc4 31. Nh5 Re1+ 32. Kf2 Re2+

33. Kg1 Bf7 34. Ng3 Rc2 35. Ne4 Bc4 36. Rb7 Bd3

37. Nc5 Bc4 38. Ne4 Rc1+ 39. Kf2 Rc2+ 40. Kg1 Rc1+

41. Kf2 Rd1 42. Nc5 Rd2+ 43. Kg1 Re2 44. Ne4 Re1+

45. Kf2 Rd1 46. Nc5 Rd6 47. Kg1 Kg8 48. Rd7 Rxd7

49. Nxd7 Kf7 50. Nc5 f5 51. Kf2 Ke7 52. Ke3 Kd6

53. Kd4 g5 54. g4 Be2 55. gxf5 Bxf3 56. Ne4+ Bxe4

57. Kxe4 h6 58. Kd4 h5 59. Ke4 Ke7 60. Ke5 g4

61. f6+ Ke8 62. Kf5 Kf7 63. Kg5 h4 64. Kxh4 Kxf6

65. Kxg4 Ke5 66. Kf3 Kd5 67. Ke3. 1-0.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Magnus Invitational, Part II

The second week of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational provided a lot of action-packed chess games to a world waiting for entertainment. The eight most entertaining players in the world (according to the Norwegian organizers) played rapid (and Armageddon) games to fill your empty hours of the coronavirus lock-down. In this second week, the players were fighting to qualify for the top four spots which will then be the semi-finals and finals of the matches. It turned out to be a quite clear divide between the qualifiers and the nots.

Naturally Magnus was one of the top four, and Ding Liren (world #3) showed that he is clearly one of the very best. Ding had a very bad first half of the Candidates Tournament. Fabiano Caruana, world #2, also showed the world he is as dangerous as ever. Fabi showed that he has improved his game in the rapid and blitz time controls. He used to be considered not as strong (for a 2800) in fast chess, but now he has believers that he can win the rapid playoffs against anyone. The fourth qualifier was America’s own Hikaru Nakamura. Now everyone knows that Hikaru is fantastic in quick time controls and internet chess. In a way Hikaru is your ultimate coffee house player. (I say that with respect – he is highly entertaining.) Hikaru is no longer in the top ten of classical chess, but in this kind of tournament he is as dangerous as anyone.

We hope you enjoy these entertaining games. Thanks to Magnus and Co. for putting on the show!

(1) Nakamura,Hikaru - Firouzja,Alireza [B01]
Magnus Invitational, 28.04.2020

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4!? Diagram


A real Nakamura move. This speculative pawn sacrifice gives White extra development. This gambit is especially good for quick time controls. 4...Qxb4 5.Rb1 Qd6 6.d4 Qd8 A little too timid. Black could play 6...Nf6 and not move the queen again until it's attacked. 7.Bc4 Nf6 8.Nf3 e6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Ne5 0-0 11.Re1 So White has most of his pieces out. Black is solid though, so it's not easy to break into is camp. Now a developing move is called for - 11...Nbd7, or maybe the solid 11...c6. Firouzja too eagerly starts action in the center. 11...c5?! 12.d5! Now the white pieces get open squares and lines to move into the black territory. 12...exd5 13.Nxd5 Be6? Diagram


Already the position was difficult. The game move allows a great winning tactic. Can you find Naka's move? 14.Nxf7! This is absolutely devastating and Firouzja resigned! 14...Bxf7 15. Nxe7+ wins a piece, and 14...Kxf7 15. Rxe6! opens the black king to the deadly power of the white bishop on c4. 1-0


(2) Caruana,Fabiano - Nakamura,Hikaru [D37]

During the last World Championship match Caruana was reputed to be weaker than his top colleagues in rapid and blitz chess. Indeed, he went down easily to Magnus in the rapid tie-breaker. Now though he has been working on that phase of his game and he has become excellent is quick play also. Here he plays against his fellow American, Naka, who is justly regarded as a monster in blitz and rapid chess. Fabiano tied the rapid games with Naka 2-2 and the match came down to one Armageddon blitz game. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.cxd5!? Fabiano's method to try for an edge in this reputedly equal opening. 7...Nxd5 8.Nxd5 exd5 9.Bd3 c5 [9...Bb4+ 10.Ke2 is not a problem for White.] 10.0-0 c4 11.Bc2 b5 12.b3 White challenges the black queenside pawns so they don't control that whole section of the board. 12...a5 13.bxc4 bxc4 14.Rb1 Bb4 15.h3 Ra6 16.Qe2 Nf6 17.Ne5 Be6 18.f3 Diagram


Chances are roughly equal. White looks to get the pawn duo on d4 and e4 when the time is right. 18...Nd7 19.Ng4 Re8 20.Rfd1 Bxg4!? 21.hxg4 Bd6 22.Bxd6 Rxd6 Nakamura has traded his light-squared bishop for the knight, but has enough central pressure and his passed c-pawn to stay level. Yet the bishop can cover ground more quickly than the knight so influences both sides of the board. 23.Rb7 Nf8 24.Qf2 Rf6 25.Rdb1 Qd6 26.g5 Rfe6 27.e4 Qa3? Diagram


[27...Qf4 28.e5 R6e7 29.g3 Qxg5 30.f4 would give White good play for the pawn, but Black would still be close to equal.] 28.e5! R6e7 [Had Naka forgotten about 28...Qxa2? 29.Bxh7+ Now he is in trouble.] 29.R7b5 Qc3 30.Rxd5 Ne6 31.Ba4 Rf8 32.f4 g6 33.Rd6 In classical time control chess we would say White is winning with the extra pawn and powerful center. In blitz though it's a tough matter to play against Nakamura and that tricky knight. 33...Ng7 34.Bc2 Ne8 35.Rc6 Rd7 36.Rd1 Nc7 37.Be4 [37.Bb3!] 37...Rfd8 38.Qf3 Qxf3 39.Bxf3 Ne6 40.d5 Nxf4 41.d6 Black has won back a pawn, but the c4 pawn is loose and the powerful pawn on d6 retrains the black forces. 41...Nd3 Diagram


42.Bg4! Ra7 43.d7! The threat of Rc8 is decisive! 43...Kf8 44.Rxc4 Nb4 [The problem with 44...Nxe5 is the pin after 45.Rc8 Ke7 46.Re1] 45.e6 fxe6 46.Bxe6 Ra6 47.Rc8! Ke7 48.Bg4 Ra8 49.Re1+ Kf7 50.Re8 Diagram


Black resigned as he loses a rook. Impressive control by Fabiano with little time in a complex ending. 1-0


(3) Ding,Liren - Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime [D13]
Magnus Invitational, 28.04.2020

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.Nxd5 cxd5 8.Qxd5 e6 9.Qb3 Nc6 10.e3 Nb4 11.Qa4+ Kd8? Diagram


[MVL puts his king on the wrong square, which is on the same diagonal as his queen (a5-d8 diagonal). Much better was the odd looking 11...Ke7!] 12.Bd2! Nc2+?! [12...Bd6 13.Bb5 Bd3 14.Bxb4 Bxb5 15.Qa3 Bxb4+ 16.Qxb4 is a clear pawn ahead for White. This is better than what happens though.] 13.Ke2! Qxb2 Diagram


14.Ne5! At first sight it seems that Black has crashed through with heavy threats. Yet the simple threat of the white queen and knight - checkmate on d7 - decides the game. 14...b5 15.Qa5+ Ke8 16.Qc7 MVL resigned. There is no decent way to defend the black king. 1-0


(4) Ding ,Liren - Nakamura,Hikaru [A29]
Magnus Invitational, 29.04.2020

This was the Armaggedon game, and the most entertaining of the match between these players. 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 We have a Sicilian Dragon reversed. White has a very slight initiative. 8.a3 0-0 9.d3 Be6 10.Be3 Nd5 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Qa4 Re8 13.Rac1 a6 14.Rc3 Bf6 15.Rd1 Nd4! Diagram


This active move immediately resolves all of Black's problems. 16.Rd2 [16.Nxd4 exd4 17.Bxd4 Bxg2 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Kxg2 Rxe2 is a pleasant position for Black.] 16...Nxf3+ 17.Bxf3 Bxf3 18.exf3 c6 Despite the ugly looking white pawns the position is equal. 19.Kg2 g6 20.Qe4 Bg7 21.b4 f5 22.Qc4+ Kh8 23.d4 e4 24.d5 exf3+ 25.Kxf3 Qe7?! 26.Rcc2 [26.dxc6! b5 27.Qc5 Qe4+ 28.Ke2 Bxc3 29.Qxc3+ is White's most active chance to win the game.] 26...cxd5 27.Rxd5 Rad8 Now White should play 28. Rxd8 with a small pull. Instead he plays the most natural move on the board. 28.Kg2? Diagram


Black to move and win 28...b5! 29.Qd3 Qb7! Ding resigned as he loses a full rook due to the pin. On 30. Rcc5 Re5! 0-1 


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